We know that establishing a trust is the best way to ensure your wealth is preserved for the generations to come but what happens after the trust is created and you’re still living? Do you appoint a corporate trustee right now? How do you stay in charge of your money while still setting the trust up for success after you’re gone?
The reality is that a trustee has a full plate. The duties and responsibilities of serving as a trustee is time-consuming and often overwhelming. As the trustee of an irrevocable trust, you assume the fiduciary responsibility for managing the trust’s assets, administering the trust in the best interests of all beneficiary classes while still carrying out the trust’s mission. This requires a large commitment of time and effort to make day-to-day decisions while steering clear of problems with the IRS.
The person who knows the trust and its intent best is the person who created it. You set up a trust as the vehicle of control for your money after you pass and wanting to stay in charge of it until then makes sense. The best way to do this in the best interest of your trust long-term is to establish an Agency Relationship. Under an agency relationship, you maintain your trustee role which means you will still have authority to determine what funds go where but the Independent Trust Company assists with technical administrative issues. Depending on the needs of the individual trustee, ITC can assist with:
· Tracking trust transactions
· Providing principal and income accounting and uni-trust calculations
· Preparing and filing fiduciary income tax returns
The Agency Relationship shifts the technical aspects of the trust to ITC while enabling the trustee to focus on family dynamics related to the trust, put beneficiaries first and individual trustee responsibilities. This is a benefit for the short term and the long term because it ensures a seamless transition when we take over entirely- we have all the records and fully understand the intent under which the trust was created so we can instruct to continue the trust to be executed as it has been. Further, the trustee can cherry pick the tasks it wishes to retain. If they want to continue managing the family’s business interests and delegate the rest to ITC, they have the power to do so.
Supporting the creators of trusts is a part of our daily work to put the trust back in trusts and we take great pride is providing guidance you can rely on from day one. As you begin your trust journey, we welcome any questions you may have and are eager to create a plan to assist your trust’s individual needs.